July 9: Frances Bull Fairchild (1925)

Seven-year-old Frances Bull moved to Washington from Detroit in 1853 with her parents. Her mother had remarried after her biological father had died when Frances was young. Her stepfather had been a respected judge and was coming to the nation’s capital as he took a job in the War Department. The family appears to have quickly become associated with Epiphany. Frances’ half brother, Charles, was baptized at the church in 1857. Within the next year, her stepfather and mother were both buried from the church. In 1859, Frances’ older sister, Kate, was married at the church followed by Frances’ marriage to Lucius Fairchild five years later.

Lucius Fairchild was in the military when he married Frances Bull. He would go on to become Governor of Wisconsin for three terms. Frances Fairchild proved to be a popular first lady for the Badger State. Her charm, tact, and beauty gathered for her and her husband many friends. Mrs. Fairchild also proved to be able to act in her husband’s absence. In 1871 following the Great Chicago Fire, her husband and many state officials had gone to that city to render aid. Meanwhile a telegram to Governor Fairchild arrived in Madison telling of a fire in upstate Wisconsin. With her husband away, Mrs. Fairchild sprang into action. She commandeered a boxcar loaded with supplies destined for Chicago and rerouted it to the Wisconsin site. Mrs. Fairchild then issued a public appeal for contributions of money, clothing, bedding, and supplies with the result that a second boxcar was dispatched.

< Previous     Next >

No comments yet

Add comment